'The Bachelor' alum Cassie Randolph: Colton Underwood being gay caught me "completely off-guard"
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/21/2022
The Bachelor alum Cassie Randolph has revealed how she feels now that her ex-boyfriend Colton Underwood is living his life as a proud gay man, although he had come out on national television without telling her first.
Colton and Cassie fell in love onThe Bachelor's 23rd season and talked about getting engaged after the show, but they went through a difficult breakup in May 2020 after 18 months of dating.
Cassie then took some time to focus on herself and heal from the split, and Colton announced, publicly, he's gay on Good Morning America in April 2021.
During the Monday, October 17 episode of the "Ben and Ashley I: Almost Famous Podcast," Ashley Iaconetti asked Cassie how it felt when Colton declared he's gay without sharing the news with her first.
"I feel like this is a very loaded question and I can't necessarily talk a lot about it," Cassie, 27, told Ashley and her co-host Ben Higgins.
"I'm very happy that he is, you know, at peace with himself and is not carrying that burden anymore, of course."
But Cassie continued, "It was a very just overall hard time for me, so I feel like there was just one thing after another and I was just extremely overwhelmed with everything going on. So, yeah, it was really hard."
Cassie said she had no idea that Colton was gay, or going to come out as such on GMA, even though other people -- including Ashley and Ben, admittedly -- had heard rumblings about the news a day or two beforehand.
"I feel like people didn't talk to me about things because I was such in a sensitive, fragile state that I didn't hear anything," said Cassie, who read about Colton being gay on social media after his GMA appearance.
"So I was just completely caught off-guard," she concluded.
Cassie thought she had handled the interview well and respected her history with Colton, and she proceeded to accuse her ex of trying to "monetize" their breakup by writing about it in his "The First Time" memoir.
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Colton had a hard time moving on from Cassie and allegedly put a tracking device on her car.
The former pro football player also allegedly sent Cassie "unsettling" text messages and would stand outside the speech pathologist's apartment -- or her parents' house -- very late at night, which resulted in Cassie filing a restraining order against Colton that was ultimately dropped once a private agreement was reached in November 2020.
But Cassie said she is "doing great" today and is "fine" and "settled" in her life with boyfriend Brighton Reinhardt, a musician whom she's been dating since May 2021.
Cassie shared how she rarely leaves her Huntington Beach bubble but The Bachelor franchise will always be a part of who she is.
"I love feeling stable and settled at home... [but] I still love [The Bachelor franchise]," Cassie said on the podcast.
"I will still be associated with it or go on the show and say 'hi' to everyone and do little things here or there, for sure. I just think things that have happened over the last few years made me have to take a step back from things."
Cassie noted her time away from the limelight in recent years "just naturally happened" and she's "a private person" in general.
Cassie also expressed how she's very happy with Brighton and he was "very, very supportive" during challenging times.
"Me and Brighton have been friends for seven years now," Cassie noted, adding how he's never been "weird" about her reality TV history or her situation with Colton.
"If anything, I think he's just very defensive or protective, and he makes me talk it out with him more than I would like to -- but not in a bad way, in a good way. I feel lucky to have a good support system, for sure," Cassie revealed.
Cassie said the last two years have "flown" by for her.
"I mean, I guess we're serious," Cassie noted of her boyfriend.
When asked if Brighton is "The One," Cassie replied, "I feel like that's such a serious question to ask, but I mean, I hope so. I think so!"
Cassie confirmed, "We have talked about proposals and we have talked about rings. I don't think I'm supposed to know [if or when he's going to pop the question]. I feel like he wants me to be surprised, and I don't know how I feel [about being surprised]."
Cassie joked about how she wants "a really big" diamond but isn't sure which cut she wants.
Cassie currently works part-time from home for a speech pathology clinic.
For Colton's part, he is now engaged to political strategist Jordan C. Brown.
Colton told GMA last year that he realized he was different at the age of six and came to the conclusion he's gay when he was a freshman in high school.
Colton said he hated himself "for a long time" and was "a miserable person living as a shell of a human being" while pretending to be straight for well over a decade.
Colton has said in the press he thought being the Bachelor and dating Cassie could make him straight but he was ultimately lying to himself and he feels badly for having hurt so many women on his season.